At the time the new Bristol Blenheim made its first flight at Filton aerodrome on 12th April 1935, it was faster than any fighter aircraft currently in service with the Royal Air Force. Initially developed as a private venture funded by Lord Rothermere, the owner of the Daily Mail Newspaper, the new aircraft set a new speed record for civilian aircraft and was donated to the Air Ministry for trials and evaluation.
Clearly impressed with the capability of this advanced new design, the RAF immediately ordered a bomber version of the aircraft straight off the drawing board. Although the Blenheim would prove to be a significant step forward in aviation technology, it would also be used as a yardstick against which all other new designs would be judged - a new breed of fighter must outclass the Blenheim. Significantly, at the outbreak of the Second World War, the RAF had more Bristol Blenheims in service than any other aircraft and it was to see extensive service in the air battles to come.
On Thursday 20th November 2014, Bristol Blenheim Mk.I L6739 (G-BPIV) was pushed out of the Aircraft Restoration Company’s hangar at Duxford airfield and given a final engine test, prior to its first post restoration flight. Moments later, this extremely rare British aircraft took to the skies once more and immediately became one of the most important historic aircraft in the world – the only flying example of its type. Configured as a short-nosed Mk.I nightfighter version of the Blenheim, which saw service during the Battle of Britain, this magnificent aircraft was destined to become highly sought after during the 75th Anniversary commemorations of the Battle of Britain in 2015.
Additional photography kindly provided by Neil Owen.
|Limited Edition Size||1,000|